Respectful Learning Environment Statement

We recognize that our Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS) events and workshops are taking place on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. If you would like to learn more about the importance of our Land Acknowledgment, visit the UBC Vancouver Campus Indigenous Portal.  Visit Native Land to identify, locate, and acknowledge the land you have learned from and lived on.  

Thank you for participating in our programming. The GPS team believes in the importance of an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment, so you feel safe and supported while learning and engaging in our sessions. In agreement with the UBC Respectful Environment Statement, we thrive on creating “the best possible environment for working, learning and living”, “one in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued.”

To create a respectful, safe, and equitable environment free of discrimination and harassment for all, we must act with consideration of others at all times. Read UBC’s Discrimination Policy.

To foster meaningful collaboration and connections in GPS sessions, we would like to encourage you to:

  • Be collegial, allowing all voices in the room to be heard and contribute (this is particularly important in breakout rooms/working groups. Groups should practice empathy, respect, and inclusion).
  • Treat online events similar to in-person experiences.
  • Be present and engaged.  Plan to attend the entirety of the event. Arriving late, leaving and rejoining, or leaving early can be disruptive to others, particularly in sessions with group projects.
  • Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of other workshop participants by:
    • Refraining from re-sharing personal stories after the session.
    • Refraining from taking any photos of other participants’ without their permission (including their names in virtual settings).
    • For online sessions, refraining from writing the others’ full names in the chat box as those conversations are sometimes recorded and distributed for educational purposes after the event.
  • Everyone should feel seen, welcomed, and included.  Language is powerful; it impacts human relationships, so it’s important to use equitable and inclusive language. More information is available on:
    • Positive Space Language,
    • Anti-racism work,
    • Recognizing microaggressions and the messages they can send, and how to address them, and
    • Content designed to help students, staff, and faculty learn about different aspects of gender diversity.
      • Pronouns: we recommend including the pronouns you use (he/him/his; she/her/hers; they/them/theirs; ze/zir/zirs) on your name tag or virtually, after your name. These words stand-in for your name when you are referred to in the 3rd person.  In the absence of preferred pronouns, we recommend using the gender neutral prounouns they/them/theirs.

Responsive Strategies

  • Speak Up! When you hear or see something that could be discriminatory, bullying, or harassing
  • Resource and Support. Validate – Reflect (the language used); Refer to resources.
  • Responding Respectfully. Acknowledge mistake – Apologize – Act (change behaviour/ language).


It is important to the GPS team that all graduate students are able to fully engage in our programs.  If you have concerns about your participation in our events due to accessibility needs that require accommodations, please contact us.  


We would like to thank Rachael Sullivan, PhD, Equity Facilitator, and the Equity and Inclusion Office. This text draws from a Tips for Facilitators document that was previously reviewed and edited by them. We also acknowledge the Respectful Space Statement for Events, Programs and Services  (UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology)

Resources on campus



Thank you for your time and consideration in reading this statement. We look forward to connecting with you. If you have any questions or recommendations, please email us.